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Mr. Wisdom Ameyao, Chairman of the Ningo Prampram Farmer-Based Organization Network in the Ningo Prampram District of the Greater Accra Region has expressed regret at the lack of ready market for their vegetable produce after harvesting.
His concerns arise out of the perishable nature of vegetables compared to other crops, a concern which gravely presents the vegetable growing business as a risky venture, a situation further fueled by the absence of ready markets.
The situation, he laments, has led to a high default rate in the repayment of loans granted to vegetable farmers in the country.
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“Vegetable farming is a very risky business because vegetables are perishable goods which do not last for long after harvest,” Mr. Ameyao said. “The situation normally makes us default in the payment of loans we take from financial institutions to invest into the farming business if there is no ready market for us to sell our produce.”
Speaking in an interview, the vegetable farmer described the rainfall pattern in the Ningo Prampram district as “unfavorable” and said they must resort to every possible means to afford irrigation services because vegetables cannot do well on the farm without enough water.
Mr. Ameyao was also unhappy that “after battling with the low rainfall and the absence of irrigation facilities, the little that we harvest go waste due to the lack of ready market and storage facilities to preserve them.”
Expectations on Farmers’ Day
When asked about his expectations concerning the upcoming Farmers’ Day Celebrations across the country on December 1st, Mr. Wisdom Ameyao poo-pooed the selection criteria used in awarding deserving farmers, insisting that the criteria need not include the size of the farm.
“The best farmer selection from the various districts up to the national level should not be based on the size of one’s farm and number of livestock productions,” Mr. Ameyaw opined. “The awards should also include the poor farmers who produce little and this will encourage them to produce more.”
Many factors hinder the production of vegetables in Ghana, including poor husbandry techniques, shortage of seeds at the required time, a poor extension service and insufficient use of fertilizers.
Other challenges include unreliable rainfall, inadequate irrigation facilities, a lack of organized vegetable processing and marketing and the low income derived from most of the crops during the regular growing seasons.
Source: mynewsghana.com//Michael Oberteye//[email protected]